The Rotary Club of

January 1, 2023 Newsletter

We wish you a Happy New Year! Please remember that our next regular Club meeting at Maldaners Upstairs will be on January 9, 2023.

President Randy's Comments
Holiday Party
The Club’s annual Holiday Party was held on Tuesday, December 13, at Christ the King Church, Springfield. We were joined at this gala by District Governor Bill Durall shown to the left with Vicki Megginson. Our featured entertainment this year was the Williamsville High School Madrigals as well as a holiday reading from our own Kathryn Harris which involved audience participation, unexpectedly lead by the robustly expressive tenor offered up (repeatedly) by Sergeant-at-Arms Kirk Kellus. More information on activities at the party are provided in the feature story below.
I presented the highly coveted PRESIDENTIAL AWARDS (formerly, the Erfordian Awards) to several deserving recipients at this event, as well.
Barry Tobias (image below), our most recent Past-President won this year’s award as “Happiest Has-Been.” 
Travis Magoulias (image below on right) and Nate Clemmer (image below on left) won “Look-Alike” awards since even after several years in the Club many members still mistake one for the other.
Ross Hodel was in-line to receive an award, but became suspiciously ill prior to the event so was not in attendance.  (We may need to embarrass Ross in absentia at one of our January meetings).
Megan-Norman-Saxon-Tillingsworth-Smythe-Reynolds (image below) received the Hyphenated-Anglophile award subsequent to her recent marriage and extraordinary name change. 
Finally, Rosemary Buffington was awarded the First Place Presidential Award of 2022 as “Most Problematic Postal Service Client” for the 12 minutes she caused Your President to wait in-line while she confusingly yet politely attempted to mail several packages during the holiday rush.
A good time was had by all; the meal arranged by Rod Buffington was delicious; the entertainment arranged - with considerable effort - by Megan Reynolds was wonderful; and my own Presidential Awards were at least accepted with good humor. 
Best Wishes to all for a Happy and Healthy 2023!
A Joyous Holiday Party
Our Holiday Party was a joyous occasion filled with fellowship, great food, recognition, humor, and great music provided by the Williamsville High School madrigal singers. We gathered at Christ the King Church and had a splendid meal prepared by Chef Randy Williams. An album of images will be shared on our website.
Here are a few highlights from the evening. After being properly draped in his jacket with epaulets (image on left), President Randy Erford  presided over the election of 2023-2024 Officers and other Board Members. The Officers and other Board members (shown in the image below from right to left) will be President Travis Magoulias, Vice President (to be determined), Secretary Marty Michelson (not pictured), Treasurer Sheila Mack, Past President Randy Erford (ex officio, not pictured), Club Service Director (to be determined), Community Service Director (Megan Reynolds), International Service Director Robert Stuart (not pictured), Youth Service Director (to be determined), Membership Service Director Harry Mitchell, Directors at Large Loretta Meeks, Ross Hodel (not pictured), and Bonnie Styles, Sergeant at Arms Barry Tobias. 
Following the presentation of the 2023-2024 leadership team, Randy presented his prestigious Presidential Awards. See the President's Comments for the award winners. 
Kathryn Harris (image on left) did a dramatic reading of  the W.E.B. DuBois version of A Christmas Story.
She then invited members of the audience to join her in singing the Twelve Days of a Soul Food Christmas (image below) with selected individuals singing the refrains. (image below).
As noted in the President's comments, Kirk Kellus (image below) excelled in his part and really belted out "and five chicken wings."
The Williamsville High School Madrigal Singers (image below and at beginning of story), directed by Eric Hendricksen, put the crowning touch on a wonderful evening.
A good time was had by all!
January 9, 2023 Meeting Link is inviting you to a scheduled Webex meeting on January 9, 2023.
Occurs on Mondays effective Monday, July 25, 2022 until Monday, June 26, 2023 from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM, (UTC-05:00) Central Time (US & Canada)
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January 9, 2023 Meal Reservation
Our January 9, 2023 club meeting will be hybrid with the opportunity to dine in person at Maldaners Upstairs or dine at home by ordering a meal to pick up behind Maldaners. In either case, make a reservation!
All meals include the main course, sides, salad, and dessert. Take out meals are well packaged, and are hand delivered by Maldaner's staff, sometimes by Chef Michael Higgins!
Please make reservations for dining in or take out so we can estimate our food needs and so Maldaners knows you are coming. The deadline for reserving dinner for the January 9 meeting is Monday, January 9 at noon. Meals are $15 each. Please use the following link to make your reservations for the meal for dining in or pickup by clicking: 
For curbside takeout, please place your meal tickets or cash in an envelope with your name and “for Sheila Mack” on the outside of the envelope and give it to the Maldaners staff member that gives you your food. They will get the envelopes to Sheila Mack. Curbside pickup is between 4:45 and 5:15 p.m. To pick up food, turn into the alley behind the building and pick up the food at the back door. It's easy to pick up your food an the food is delicious!
Thank You from Ridgely School Principal
On December 11, Jennifer Butcher, the new Principal of Ridgely Elementary School sent the following note for our club:
Thank you Springfield Rotary! Last week, our third graders received their dictionaries and the entire school received the oranges you dropped off. We appreciate you so much!
Jennifer also sent images showing students with their new dictionaries (mage on left) and students enjoying the oranges (images below).
Both the dictionaries and oranges (from our annual citrus fundraiser) were purchased and donated by club members. We all thank all of those who donated for their generosity. 
Oranges Donated to Central Illinois Foodbank
On December 7, the Rotary Clubs of Springfield donated oranges to the Central Illinois Foodbank as a part of the annual Citrus Sale Fundraiser. All five Rotary Clubs in Springfield participated in this year’s Citrus Sale. Three of the clubs—our club, Springfield Sunrise, and Springfield South—allowed Rotarians and their clients to purchase oranges specifically for donation to the Foodbank. This year, we donated 190 40-lb. cartons of oranges (image on left)—about 23,750 oranges. This is Rotary’s largest donation of oranges to the Foodbank since our club added the option to buy oranges for them in 2013.
Bonnie Styles and Bill Smith arranged for the Foodbank to pick up the donated oranges at Humphreys Market on December 7. Humphreys Market helps with the Rotary Citrus order from Florida, and Hope Humphrey joined the group (above image far right). Bill Smith (above image, second from right and image below), Warehouse Manager and overall logistics director for the citrus fundraiser, was interviewed for the Central Illinois Foodbank Newsletter by Tim Kirsininkas, Public Relations Manager for the Foodbank (above image second from left and image below). Ed Reynolds (above image, far left), truck driver for the Central Illinois Foodbank) also joined the group and helped load the oranges on the truck.
Bill Smith described the benefits of the program for Rotary, the Foodbank, and those in need of food. “It’s a win-win situation all around.” Customers buy nutritious citrus to eat and gift during the holiday season and also purchase oranges for donation to the Central Illinois Foodbank. The Foodbank delivers the oranges to other foodbanks who distribute them to those in need. The gift keeps giving because the proceeds from the sale of the oranges and grapefruit by Rotarians, including the oranges purchased for direct donation to the Foodbank, support Rotary community grants that help combat hunger, promote literacy, and meet other community needs.
Upcoming Programs and Events
January 2 — No Club Meeting
Enjoy the New Year Holiday with family and friends
January 9 — Club Meeting at Maldaners Upstairs
Dan Wright, Sangamon County States Attorney and Tami Richmond United States Attorney’s Office, and other staff members will present on the Victim Witness Assistance Program and their trained Facility Dogs
Tami Richmond (image below), Victim Witness Coordinator for the Sangamon County State's Attorney Office and Facility Dog Primary Handler, and Sangamon State’s Attorney Dan Wright (image on left) and two other members of his staff will present on their Victim’s Witness Program. The program uses dogs to calm children, and elderly and nervous witnesses for their testimony. The Courthouse Facility Dog Program is a part of the Sangamon County States Attorney’s Office. Gibson, one of the dogs, was donated to the program by DUO Dogs, Inc. in St. Louis, MO, and has been assisting victims and witnesses in Sangamon County since 2017. These dogs are specially trained and utilized because of their calm presence and ability to work in high stress environments to support victims. Illinois law allows for Courthouse Facility Dogs to assist with victims of crime during criminal court proceedings on a case-by-case basis. Gibson also has the ability to participate in Specialty Courts, including Veteran’s Court, Drug Court, and Mental Health Court as needed. Diane Bell, Victim Witness Program Director and Facility Dog Handler, and Hollie Gleason, Victim Witness Program Assistant Director and Facility Dog Handler, will demonstrate the program in action for us with Gibson. The image below shows the members of Team Gibson: Diane, Tami, Holli, and Gibson.
January 16 — No Club Meeting at Maldaners; Please attend the Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast at the Wyndham Springfield City Center
Frontiers International is hosting the breakfast at 8:30 a.m. at the Wyndham Springfield City Center. We are not having our regular club meeting on that day, and are encouraging members to attend the breakfast. Our club would like to fill two tables at the event. See the story below for more information. 
January 23 — Club Meeting at Maldaners Upstairs
John Martin, Astrophysicist and Director of UIS Henry Barber Astronomy Laboratory will show the latest Pictures from the James Webb Space Telescope.
John Martin (image on left) is a stellar astrophysicist whoe research interests include the life cycles of the most massive stars. He is Director of the Henry R. Barber Research Observatory, the host of University of Illinois Springfield Star Parties, and has taught astronomy and introductory physics a the University of Illinois Springfield since Fall 2006. John has degrees from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
January 30 — Club Meeting at Maldaners Upstairs
President Randy Erford will host us for a Social Night . Please join us and get to know your Rotary friends even better.
February 6 - Club Meeting at Maldaners Upstairs
Mark Sirichote, our inbound Rotary exchange student, will speak about his experiences as a Rotary Exchange student. The image below shows Mark when he first arrived in Springfield.
February 13 – Club Meeting at Maldaners Upstairs
We will have a speaker (to be announced later) who will discuss the Y. Details will be provided later.
February 20 – Club Meeting at Maldaners Upstairs
Gordon Davis, Founder, Whimsy Tea Company, will speak to our group. Details will be provided later.
February 27 – Rotary Foundation Night Dinner
Mark your calendar for our annual Foundation Night Dinner! Each of our Rotary Circles will be naming a Paul Harris Fellow. Details will be provided later.
Changes in January Meeting Dates
Good day, Rotarians.  I am forwarding the changes in meeting dates for the month of January.  The changes are listed below.  If you have any questions, please contact me or Randy Erford for clarification.  We look forward to seeing you during the scheduled times.
The Upcoming Board Meeting is scheduled for:
Monday, January 9
The following January meetings have been cancelled:
Monday, January 2
Monday, January 16 (See stories on attending the Martin Luther King, Jr. Dinner on this date.)
2023 Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast
Frontiers International is again hosting the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast in Springfield. The event will be held on January 16, 2023 in the Wyndham Springfield City Center at 8:30 a.m. I have $30 tickets that may be purchased for the event. Please let me know by the January 3 deadline if you would like to buy tickets.  You may email me ( to purchase tickets. 
We hope that our Rotary Club will buy enough tickets to fill two tables as we have done in the past. Our Rotary club is also planning to sponsor the event by placing an advertisement in the program. 
The keynote speaker is Dr. Gerald A. McWorter (Professor Alkalimat) (image on leftt) of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He will present "An Oasis of Freedom and Justice is the Dream." Dr. McWorter is the great great grandson of Free Frank McWorter, founder of New Philadelphia, the first town legally set up by an African American. After earning a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago, he has taught and lectured at many institutions including Fisk University, University of California, University of Peking, and University of Ghana. His activism in the Civil Rights Movement included being the Chairperson of SNCC in Chicago and working with Dr. King during his activities in Chicago. He is currently Professor Emeritus of African American Studies and Information Science at the University of Illinois. Recent books include New Philadelphia (2018), The History of Black Studies (2021), and The Future of Black Studies (2022). His next book will the The History and Future of Malcolm X
Please purchase your tickets before the January 2 deadline.
Angel Tree Gifts for Rutledge Youth
Members of the Rotary Club of Springfield once again purchased Angel Tree gifts for the youth of Rutledge. These are abused/neglected children who are living in foster care, intact families or independent placements monitored by Rutledge.
There were 40 angels available for male and female youth, ages infant – 20, with the child’s name and gift suggestions printed. Our club members provided gifts for almost all of these angels and many also provided wrapping paper.  All of the angels received gifts.
Thank you so much for your support!!!
Roster of December Volunteer Contributions
Hello Rotarians!
With so many different service projects in the month of December, I wanted to provide you with one updated roster of everything that happened. 
As always, thank you so much for your commitment to our community!
Friday, December 2: Salvation Army Bell Ringing
Montvale Plaza Schnucks at 2801 Chatham Road
  • 10-11 am- Harry Mitchell 
  • 11am-12 pm- Loretta Meeks 
  • 12-1 pm- Rod Buffington & Loretta Meeks
  • 1-2 pm- Megan Reynolds & Wendell Meeks (image below)
Saturday, December 3: Salvation Army Bell Ringing
Montvale Plaza Schnucks at 2801 Chatham Road
  • 10-11 am- Bill Kempiners, Mark McDonald, & Kirk Kellus
  • 11 am-12 pm- Harry Mitchell, Joe O'Bierne, & Randy Erford
  • 12-1 pm- Barry Tobias & Ross Hodel
  • 1-2 pm- John Loftus & Bill Smith
  • 2-3 pm- Christine Banks & Bill Smith (image below)
  • 3-4 pm- Bonnie Styles & Christine Banks
Thursday, December 8- Catholic Charities Set up day- 1625 W. Washington
  • Volunteers were able to come any time in between 8:30am and 1pm, I was there all day. We set up toys and such for their Christmas giveaway on December 9. 
Friday, December 9: Catholic Charities Gift Giveaway
1625 W. Washington
  • Volunteers assisted anytime between 8:30 am and 4 pm, we helped participants shop for Christmas gifts for their children. 
Friday, December 16: One Stop Christmas Shop
White Oaks Mall, upper level, old Bergner's Wing
  • 9:45 am-12 pm- Bonnie Styles (image above)
  • 11:45 am- 2pm- Vicki Megginson (image on left below)
  • 1:45-4 pm- Harry Mitchell (image on right below)
  • 3:45-6 pm- Open
  • 5:45-8 pm- Open
  • 6:45- 9pm- Jacqueline Jarju
These slots were all for personal shoppers. We helped shoppers choose gifts for their families.
For those that who were looking for something where they wouldn't have to walk around, some volunteers also assisted with distributing wrapping paper table or checking out shoppers.
Food was available all day from different businesses. This is such an amazing event that I am so proud to be a part of each year! I was in attendance all day (image below)!
Ridgely Micro Pantry-Ridgely Elementary School
Volunteers helped stock the food pantry for a two week period, and there are some open shifts remaining in January, February, and April. The articles below provide information on stocking the pantry and the types of foods and other items that are needed.
  • December A- Jim Applegate
  • December B- Ross Hodel
  • January A- Kirk Kellis
  • January B- Open
  • February A- Open
  • March A- Jim Applegate
  • March B- Vicki Megginson
  • April A- Open
  • April B- Christine Banks
Hope everyone had a wonderful month and that you continue to volunteer in the New Year. 
Megan Reynolds 
Community Services Director
Thank you for Volunteering in 2022 
Ridgely Little Pantry and Library!
Our Ridgely micro pantry (image above) and little library (image on left) have officially made their way back outside the building for the community to use once again! Thanks to Vicki Megginson for the image above of the well-stocked micro pantry after she added nutritious food during her August shift. Please feel free to drop off any food/toiletries/cleaning supplies as you see fit. With school back in session, families need these things now more than ever! We thank the Rotarians who signed up for two week slots in August, September, October, November, and December, and are already signing up for months in the New Year. I encourage everyone to look at this list of Community Gardens and fill the pantry with local fresh fruits and vegetables whenever you're able ( You can see from the image on left, also provided by Vicki Megginson, the Little Library needs more books.
Ringing the Bells for Salvation Army
Thanks to all who rang the bells for Salvation Army on Friday and Saturday, December 2 and 3 at Schnuck's at Montvale Plaza. We filled one hour shifts on December 2 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and on December 3 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The article above shows who signed up for each shift.  The image on the right shows Barry Tobias and his son Alec ringing the bells on December 3. 
One Stop Shopping Event
Thanks to all those who donated wrapping paper for the Salvation Army, Toys for Tots, and Crisis Nursery holiday event. This One Stop Shopping event was held on Friday, December 16 all day at White Oaks Mall in the wing formerly occupied by Bergners (image below). Thanks to all  who volunteered to help families pick free gifts for their children by serving as personal shoppers (see article above for images and names) for this event.  The article above shows who signed up for each shift.
Rutledge Foundation Youth Angel Tree
Thanks to all who provided one or more Angel Tree gifts for Rutledge Foundation Youth. For more information for this volunteer opportunity see Marty's story above.
Catholic Charities Gift Distribution Event
Thanks to the volunteers who helped set up for the event on December 8 and/or or helped with the gift distribution on December 9. The article above describes this event. 
Suggestions for Pantries from People Who Use Pantries
We are repeating a list of suggestions of foods and other items to stock in the Ridgely Food Pantry. These suggestions came from people who use food pantries to help feed their families. 
1. Everyone donates Kraft Mac and Cheese in the box. They can rarely use it because it needs milk and butter, which is difficult to get from regular food banks.
2. Boxed milk is a treasure, as kids need it for cereal, which they also get a lot of.
3. Everyone donates pasta sauce and spaghetti noodles.
4. They cannot eat all the awesome canned veggies and soup unless you put a can opener in too or buy pop tops.*
5. Oil is a luxury and needed for Rice a-Roni, which they also get a lot of.
6. Spices or salt and pepper would be a real Holiday gift.
7. Tea bags and coffee make them feel like you care.
8. Sugar and flour are treats.
9. They fawn over fresh produce donated by farmers and grocery stores.
10. Seeds are cool in Spring and Summer because growing can be easy for some.
11. They rarely get fresh meat.
12. Tuna and crackers make a good lunch.
13. Hamburger Helper goes nowhere without ground beef.
14. They get lots of peanut butter and jelly but usually not sandwich bread.
15. Butter or margarine is nice too.
16. Eggs are a real commodity.
17. Cake mix and frosting makes it possible to make a child’s birthday cake.
18. Dishwashing detergent is very expensive and is always appreciated.
19. Feminine hygiene products are a luxury and women will cry over that.
20. Everyone loves Stove Top Stuffing.
* At our November 29 club meeting, Ross Hodel reported that he followed this advice and stocked numerous can openers in the Ridgely Pantry. He noted that they were quickly snapped up.
Encourage Membership in Rotary
Do you know or are you someone who has a passion to give back to your community? The Rotarians in this image are helping pack essential items for the Illinois Police Department to give to homeless individuals in our community. As a Rotarian, you adhere to the principles of the 4-way Test., which are:
  • Is it the Truth? 
  • Is it Fair to all concerned? 
  • Will it build Good Will and Better Friendships?  
  • Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?  
If you find value in these ideals and want to be part of a great organization, right click on the attached link to open our online Membership Application in a new window. You can also click on this link to download an electronic copy of the Membership Application from our Club's website Home Page ( in the Download Files section. You can send the completed application to the Membership Committee at We look forward to hearing from you! 

Downtown 2022-2023 Rotary Membership Chair
Tony Williams
Record Your Service Hours and Contributions
Please remember to report your service hours and related contributions. Just follow this link:
Please email images of service activities to Bonnie Styles at It's easy to take pictures if you have a smartphone, but even an old style camera works just fine. Send me an email ( to let me know when you will be volunteering for a service project, and I will come out and take some images.
Be sure to turn in your Flag Service Project hours for work associated with the Central IL Foodbank, chicken fundraiser, Ridgely Micropanty, Salvation Army Bell Ringing, other holiday events, any other volunteer service that you have not reported. We thank the daughter of Kirk Kellus for joining her dad and Joe O'Beirne to ring the bells for Salvation Army and also for making drawings for donors (image below).
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102-2060 Winston Park Drive, Oakville, ON, L6H 5R7
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